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2020, February 12

Not just a teacher, an approachable mentor who shares experience

2020, February 12

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Arman Tailakov is an alumnus of the bachelor program in Robotics and Mechatronics at Nazarbayev School of Science and Technology, class of 2017 (from 2019 the School of Engineering and Digital Sciences). This year he is expected to graduate from the master's program in Mechatronical Engineering at Debrecen University, Hungary.

Arman is a mathematics teacher for grades 10 and 11 at the Astana Garden School, a private school in Nur-Sultan city. At the age of 24, Arman aims to share the knowledge he has acquired with his pupils, to arouse interest and a desire to study school subjects in-depth and detail.

- Frankly speaking, I have never dreamt to be a teacher. All my life I have been surrounded by teachers –my mother, uncles, and aunts. I remember one year we celebrated Teacher’s Day by having students self-govern the lessons for that day, it was maybe in 10th or 11th grade, and I was assigned to replace the teachers in junior classes. The students were very loud, did not listen and obey me, and did not understand the given topic! In the evening, I said to my brother, who was an Informatics teacher, that I would never be a teacher! And look where I am now :-) , - laughs Arman.

During my studies in the Kazakh-Turkish lyceum, we had tutors who helped us with lessons, and when I studied at NU I helped my friends with mathematics, then, even more, I became a tutor in mathematics. Therefore, I can say that now I have turned my hobby into a profession!

“I want to share not to teach”

As a teacher, I try to be approachable, talk to my class with respect, and treat them as equals. Teaching for me is not just a job, but instead, I see my role as someone who can transfer knowledge and experience. With high school students, I adhere to the principle that each student is responsible for his/her own knowledge - and students like it! In addition, advanced trainings with teachers and psychologists, seminars and courses on improving pedagogy methods and techniques help me as a young professional to learn and enhance my own teaching.

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My mom was my first teacher and she always gave me the opportunity to make my own choices and always supported both me and my ideas. As a child, my mother always talked to me as an adult.  She never pointed out what was right or wrong, but instead gently gave examples and discussed with me possibilities and why things might be that way.

I remember when I decided to submit documents to Nazarbayev University. I applied for admissions to both the Foundation program (one-year preparatory course) and to the undergraduate program (via direct admission).  I was accepted by both programs, and as a result, had a very difficult choice to make. I struggled because whatever I chose could determine my life for the next four (or five) years! And do you know what my mom said to me?  She said: "This is your life - your choice!"

Well, I chose direct admission because I felt that I was ready to start my undergraduate degree.  In my experience, the Foundation program should be chosen if you need to improve your English or if you have doubts about the choice of specialization.  Hopefully, after a year of studying in Foundation, students leave the program with more certainty about what to study in the next 4 years of Bachelor's degree. At the time I applied to both programs, my English level was already quite good.  In terms of future major, although, I was strong in mathematics and won many past Olympiads, I no longer wanted to focus on math.  I also did not have a strong interest in humanities.  Considering all of this, I decided to enroll in the School of Science and Technology and study Robotics.

Now is my last semester of the master's degree, I am working on my thesis remotely.  My thesis focuses on machine learning and object recognition, a topic that has been quite popular in the last decade in programming and robotics. I'm planning to work within my specialty but first I graduate from the master's program, get my diploma and have a little summer rest.

Why to choose Nazarbayev University?

Everything depends on the goals set by the applicant.  NU has a very unique environment, where students can find like-minded people with whom to communicate and build a true community. I studied at both Kazakh and foreign universities and I can say that NU gives the opportunity not only to study but also to develop social skills. There are student clubs for almost any interest, and they are a good way to spend one’s free time. For example, I attended the debate club "Nomad" and the NU Volunteers club. Talented and very smart people come to NU and being here gives us the opportunity to learn from each other, to find like-minded people and friends. In addition, of course, NU helps us to develop critical thinking and reach our potential.

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